I feel like I just typed the longest ever post title. I should have kept it at new stuff but I try to put the actual products in the post as part of the title so it's easier for me to sort through them when I need the info. Yey, Benefit has some new things for us...
I ordered the box of Dandelion Twinkle from Sephora over the weekend and got the lipstick for free (a $10 value!). Score! The item I received as a GWP is available for purchase and I'm glad I didn't pull the trigger right when I saw it. Dandelion Twinkle is noted as a Sephora exclusive and Hoola Lite is now available for purchase as well. I got my box of Hoola Lite over the weekend at an Ulta store. I think they got it first since I had seen it available on their website well before Sephora had it.
My initial use of the products has left me underwhelmed. I don't know what I was expecting of Dandelion Twinkle but I was disappointed. Below, the swatch on a sheet of Kleenex. It doesn't look shimmery and it seems like it would have good pigmentation but it's completely deceptive. It's a shimmery powder highlighter. On the box it says "nude-pink powder highlighter & luminizer" so that should level any expectations. I would only use it on the highpoints of the face since it's too shimmery for allover use. Without foundation on, I also felt like it emphasized some of the texture on my cheeks. But it works well on the bridge of the nose.
Hoola Lite was more my speed. I never thought myself ridiculously fair, but the original Hoola always did feel a little bit too dark for my needs. Hoola Lite is much easier for me to use. In a way, it's like a too dark face powder and I could probably buff it over my entire face with a large, super fluffy brush, similar to how I would use the Chanel Les Beiges powder. The box describes it as a "light powder bronzer for face" and that is exactly what it is.
For my initial trial, I used the two powders to do a little highlighting and contouring. On the cheek area, the effect was acceptable but if you want to have a little rosiness, you will need a proper blush as neither product will give you that flush. You get a highlight with Dandelion Twinkle and contour with Hoola Lite. Just a note on Hoola Lite, it's a little warm, more like a traditional bronzer warm and lacking the ash tones for proper contouring. However, if without options, it will do the trick.
Both powders have a light scent that generally fade away quickly but the products themselves lasted all day on me. Definitely worth noting is that while the package looks exactly the same, you get 8.0g or 0.28 oz of product in the bronzer but only 3.0g or 0.1 oz in Dandelion Twinkle.
Finally, the lipstick. I definitely like the color. But I think the whole lipstick and liner in one deal is a bit gimmicky. It doesn't quite mimic the effect for me. There's definitely a blurring of the "liner" which is good, since I never want the line to be quite so defined. But if you need the lip definition, this does not really achieve it. It could just be this color or it could be the method of application. Easy enough on the top lip but not so much on the bottom lip. And you really won't get the precision of a pencil because you are not using a pencil but simply applying the lipstick straight from the tube. For a shade like Lusty Rose, which comes off a nice neutral rose on me, it's not hard to make it look good but I expect that deeper colors will still require a pencil or a lip brush to look perfect.
The formula of the lipstick is smooth but over time, a little drying. The finish isn't quite flat matte so I'm liking that. Another way to wear it is to go around the entire lip just once and pop some Vaseline or clear gloss on top. The finish becomes very natural, almost like you're not wearing lipstick at all. I use Aquaphor with it and that's my favorite way to go. It solves the dryness problem a little bit as well.
I'm not sure that any of these items will make my reorder list but no regrets on the purchase. On a last note, be wary of the lid of the lipstick coming off while in your bag. I tossed the sample size into my purse and the lid just popped off, leaving me scrambling in a panic. Thankfully, the lipstick was used enough that I could fully retract it into the tube and I wiped the tube clean before putting the cap on so nothing got stained. I retrieved the lid immediately and carefully put the lipstick into a cosmetic case before putting that in my purse. I don't know if the full-size product will suffer from the same issue but if you buy the mini, I would save the box. (Mine is stashed back in the box and I'm not likely to put it in my purse ever again.)